Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Immigration Street protesters gather outside Channel 4 offices

Muslim broadcaster Mo Ansar Image copyright joe dukes
Image caption Muslim broadcaster Mo Ansar, who featured in a documentary with former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, was one of the protestors

A group of Southampton residents are protesting outside Channel 4's headquarters against the pending TV series Immigration Street.

The series is based on people living in the city's Derby Road, which the TV station calls "ethnically diverse".

The protesters fear the series will provoke "social unrest". It follows Channel 4's Benefits Street, which sparked complaints.

Channel 4 said residents' stories would be "represented fairly and accurately".

Image caption Some 30 protesters stood outside Channel 4's headquarters waving placards and chanting

About 30 protestors arrived by coach with placards outside the offices in Horseferry Road, London.

They have also handed in a petition of more than 1,000 signatures.

Benefits Street received more than 1,700 complaints over a perceived negative portrayal of benefits claimants.

Image copyright Google maps
Image caption Derby Road in Southampton is an "ethnically diverse street", according to Channel 4

Muslim broadcaster and community activist Mo Ansar, who lives in Southampton and took part in the protest, said the series producers, Love Productions, had been "reckless in their approach".

He said: "We've seen with the Benefits Street programme and the programmes on Gypsy traveller communities that this sensationalist broadcasting results in prejudice.

"Both these communities have had backlashes. It fuels and feeds the far-right."

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "The producers spent several months getting to know the community and continue to have an ongoing dialogue with the local council, MPs and religious leaders.

"A number of residents wanted to share their stories and these will be represented fairly and accurately.

"Immigration is one of the most fiercely debated issues in Britain today so it is vital that as a public service broadcaster Channel 4 makes programmes that examine such topics."

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